Today was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is an American holiday but not a Belizean holiday. So A’s nanny came in, and my mom and I took the opportunity to check out some more Mayan ruins sans baby.

We drove down the Western Highway nearly to the Guatmala border, then took the hand-crank ferry across the Mopan River and over to Xunantunich. And I have to say that this has to be the most amazing ruin I’ve experienced so far. I had seen pictures of it before we arrived in Belize and was most interested in viewing the friezes on the east and west sides of the high temple, also known as El Castillo. I was only slightly disappointed to learn that, like many of the more clearly defined carvings in Belize, the friezes were actually covered with a protective reproduction. But it was still neat to look at them.

And there was so much more life to this place than the previous ruins. The sun was out and toasty warm, but a great cooling breeze was blowing. The tops of the trees below us moved and swished. And the view was phenomenal. You could see most of the site from one end to the other instead of traipsing through the jungle from building to building. Some people might like that, but I like to be able to see what’s around me.

For more details on the ruin, check out

El Castillo in the background.

The friezes on the western wall.

View from the top (almost).